Slog's Seattle Kim responds to Muncie's Pastor Johnson:

Dear Pastor Johnson,

I read your editorial piece in the Star Press. I was very saddened to read your words. They show a deep abiding faith in God, Jesus and the Bible, but a complete lack of love and acceptance for the people God created. You have taken a very few bits of Scripture and pulled them way out of context. You have contorted them and added weight to them that the Bible itself does not add. You then have used them to cause harm to God’s children. This is not how a Christian should treat anyone. Jesus did not condemn people for their sexual orientation. Ever. Nowhere in the Bible are we given license to judge others, especially in God’s name. Please show me where the Bible gives any of us status above anyone else. Because that is what we would need to have the right to point fingers and say “You are sinning.”

It is clear that rejection of gay and lesbian kids by their parents, church, school and society are harmful to those kids. It is also clear that sexual orientation is not a “choice” or something that can be “prayed away.” It doesn’t work, and attempting to do so can also be extremely harmful to those kids. So how is it possible that God would want anyone to do something as potentially harmful to kids as what you are suggesting in your article? I am convinced that God created all of the glorious diversity in this world, and in all of the universe. This includes people who are LGBT. We cannot learn to accept each other if there are no differences between us. We cannot learn to overcome instinctive prejudice if we are all the same. God created diversity for a reason. God gave us challenges to face, so we could rise to the occasion. Our goal, which is clearly stated in the Bible is to learn to love and accept each other, not try to mold others into our own image.

It is not our job to try to make gay people straight. Our job is to love each other and treat everyone with respect, dignity and acceptance, just as we want to be treated ourselves.

In your article, you state that some of us have not studied the Bible enough, so we are “unequipped” to stand up to teens who come out as LGBT. I am not unequipped. I have studied the Bible, and I am absolutely clear on what it says. I will do everything in my power to love and support those kids who come out, and to let them know that God does indeed love them, accept them just as they are, just as God created them. I will do everything in my power to let them know that they are just who God created them to be. This is what Jesus wants of me. This is what God wants of me.

Please try to open yourself up to God’s absolutely UNCONDITIONAL love of us all, and see that your actions and attitude are HARMFUL, not loving. Your words and actions can and DO, cause kids to take their own lives. This cannot be what God wants for any of us. Please think carefully about the results your actions can have. How will you live if/when you find out that an innocent child has killed him or herself because of your rejection?

Kim Larsen
Open and Affirming Representative
Wayside UCC
Federal Way, Washington